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After Cloud, Amazon bets big on Machine Learning and Blockchain

Amazon is stepping into the future with new machine learning services. It is also betting big on emerging technologies such as blockchain.

tech Updated: Nov 29, 2018 16:22 IST
Kul Bhushan
Kul Bhushan
Hindustan Times
Amazon,Amazon Web Services,Amazon re:Invent 2018
Amazon unveils 13 new machine learning capabilities and services(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Amazon, one of the world’s largest cloud service providers, is now looking to expand its footprints into newer segments such as space tech, supply and record management and health care. Amazon’s future initiatives bank upon the emerging technologies such as blockchain and machine learning.

At its ongoing re:Invent 2018 conference in Las Vegas, Amazon announced 13 new machine learning capabilities and services. These new services cover all layers in a machine learning stack. For instance, the new Amazon SageMaker aims at empowering developers with tools to build, train, and deploy machine learning models.

Amazon Comprehend Medical

Amazon joins a growing list of technology companies entering the health care tech space. While the likes of Microsoft have been in this space for years, newbie Amazon is debuting with a machine learning platform called HIPAA.

Amazon Comprehend Medical platform enables developers to “process unstructured medical text and identify information such as patient diagnosis, treatments, dosages, symptoms and signs, and more.”

“Comprehend Medical helps health care providers, insurers, researchers, and clinical trial investigators as well as health care IT, biotech, and pharmaceutical companies to improve clinical decision support, streamline revenue cycle and clinical trials management, and better address data privacy and protected health information (PHI) requirements,” Amazon explains on its website.

AWS DeepRacer

With self-driving cars coming closer to the reality, Amazon is now brining machine learning to the automobiles of the future. The new AWS DeepRacer programme is essentially an autonomous race car, but as small as a toy. This is aimed at enabling developers create and simulate apps on a functional self driving cars.

“AWS DeepRacer includes a fully-configured cloud environment that you can use to train your Reinforcement Learning models. It takes advantage of the new Reinforcement Learning feature in Amazon SageMaker and also includes a 3D simulation environment powered by AWS RoboMaker. You can train an autonomous driving model against a collection of predefined race tracks included with the simulator and then evaluate them virtually or download them to a AWS DeepRacer car and verify performance in the real world,” Amazon said.

AWS DeepRacer also comes with a 3D simulation environment powered by AWS RoboMaker (Amazon)

Amazon’s self driving car is powered by an Intel Atom processor, a 4-megapixel camera with full HD resolution, USB ports, Wi-Fi (802.11ac), and battery that is claimed deliver up to 2 hours of back up. Other features include an Atom processor with Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, ROS (Robot Operating System), and the Intel OpenVino computer vision toolkit.

Amazon Inferentia chip

Yes, you read that right. Amazon is now building chips. The company has introduced a Machine Learning-driven Inferentia processor which uses Artificial Intelligence algorithms to process the data. It is capable of scanning and converting incoming audio into real-time text translations. Amazon has also introduced a processor chip for its cloud unit, Graviton.

Amazon’s chip isn’t competing with market leaders like Nvidia and Intel. The company is keeping its new chip focused on enterprise and cloud users. But Amazon may be interested in following Google’s footprints to build more AI chips to take on Nvidia and other chip players in the world. ALSO READ: Amazon launches new antenna service for downloading, uploading data from satellites

Blockchain

After years of speculation, Amazon has finally entered the blockchain space. The company has launched Amazon Quantum Ledger Database and Amazon Managed Blockchain services.

Amazon Managed Blockchain is a new service that aims to make it easier for enterprises to keep records of millions of transactions. The platform can also be used for peer-to-peer payments, loan processing, and business transactions with suppliers and distributors. To make the platform available to more users and developers around the world, Amazon has embraced the popular open source blockchain frameworks -- Ethereum and Hyperledger Fabric.

Amazon Quantum Ledger Database is essentially ledger for applications for record management of data ranging from supply chain, financial, manufacturing, insurance to HR. The platform, however, aims to create a single entity that is trusted by all parties in a transaction. ALSO READ: NITI Aayog, Oracle to fight fake drugs in India through blockchain

First Published: Nov 29, 2018 16:21 IST